Just how hyped was 1975?

by MuadDib 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • JAVA

    It’s a fact (as seen from the posts above) that the Tower started the 1975 hype and fully benefited from the increased activity and number of JWs. The fact that followers didn’t seek a good education and others retired early to spend their last dime made little difference to the Tower. When it came time for them to admit their mistake, and harm caused by their mistake, they blamed the Witnesses who were foolish enough to trust the Watchtower Society!
    That was the straw that did it for me. I was there, lived through the Tower’s 1975 hype, and witnessed how the Tower lied about it after the fact.

  • littlerockguy

    How much was printed in the publications concerning 1975 is irrelevent. The fact that the WTS endorsed what was said on stage at the KHs and at the assemblies is enough for them to bear full responsibility. What is said on the platform is regarded by the rank and file as coming from the WTS (FDS) as if it was printed.

  • Mary

    Of course it was hyped and it was the Governing Body's fault entirely. Their weak, pathetic excuse that "some brothers read more into the statements" than what they intended was pure bullshit.

    Everyone knows that the R&F are not allowed to "read more" into anything the GB says. Otherwise, you get hauled in the back room for a little chat. The very fact that the GB did absolutely nothing to squelch the "speculation" that was running rampant throughout the Organization in the late 60s and early 70s, clearly shows that they approved of the whole thing. If they were opposed to such "speculation", there would have been numerous talks at the Hall, at the assemblies and in the WT studies telling people NOT to speculate about 1975 and that there is no evidence whatsoever that Armageddon would come in that year and warning everyone about "running ahead of the Organization". There were absolutely NO talks or WT studies at all during this time frame that did any such thing.

  • rekless

    My son came down with Luekemia in 1972 when he was 18 months old, and I was told if he could just stay alive until October 1975 he would live forever.So the date is burned into my mind as well as it was the society that put and pushed that date in our minds. We did not dream it up. Oh, by the way Danny Jr. lived for another 16 years. He died a week after he graduated from high school.

  • aquagirl

    1975 was hyped to the hilt here and folks WERE told to not put kids in school,or to take 'em out if possible in the fall..i was a kid,and terrorstricken everytime a thunderstorm hit.i was forced to get baptised at barely 12 cause my folks wanted me to make it..dont know what the nest 1975 is,but im sure itll be in 'gods own time'..lol.

  • MuadDib

    Holy shit. Thanks for the replies, everybody - especially the personal stories which, as usual, are very touching and even heartbreaking (rekless, that's a very moving experience). I honestly can't believe the level of disingenuity that must go to the top of this organization when they tell people like myself that this was all the fault of overeager ordinary Witnesses. I can still remember the look in our most recalcitrant elder's eyes when someone brought the topic up at a gathering, warning us to terminate the conversation immediately. Unbelievable. And then to have the gall to proclaim themselves as the one true religion and badmouth every other belief system out there... it almost brings a bad taste to my mouth.

    More and more since having come here I'm glad I left and determined never to go back. Thanks again guys, you make this so much easier.

  • Leolaia

    The way the Society laid the blame on the R&F reminds me of how they also have mischaracterized older views as originating among the followers. Consider this statement in the 1975 Yearbook (just before the Society started blaming the R&F for the 1975 debacle) on the identification of Pastor Russell with the F&DS:

    *** yb75 p. 88 United States of America (Part One) ***

    The identity of the "faithful and discreet slave," or "faithful and wise servant" (King James Version), was a matter of quite some concern back in those years. Much earlier, in 1881, C. T. Russell wrote: "We believe that every member of this body of Christ is engaged in the blessed work, either directly or indirectly, of giving meat in due season to the household of faith. ‘Who then is that faithful and wise servant whom his Lord hath made ruler over his household,’ to give them meat in due season? Is it not that ‘little flock’ of consecrated servants who are faithfully carrying out their consecration vows—the body of Christ—and is not the whole body individually and collectively, giving the meat in due season to the household of faith—the great company of believers?"

    So it was understood that the "servant" God used to dispense spiritual food was a class. With the passing of time, however, the idea adopted by many was that C. T. Russell himself was the "faithful and wise servant." This led some into the snare of creature worship. They felt that all the truth God saw fit to reveal to his people had been presented through Brother Russell, that nothing more could be brought forth. Annie Poggensee writes: "This caused a great sifting out of those who chose to stay back with Russell’s works." In February 1927 this erroneous thought that Russell himself was the "faithful and wise servant" was cleared up.

    There is a clear impression here that Russell expressed an "official" view, then there arose among the followers the "incorrect" view, which the Watchtower cleared up in 1927 by restating the "official" view. But in fact, it was Russell's wife who started this "incorrect" view and it was expressed in the pages of the Watchtower for many years in the 1910s and 1920s, both in articles by the Editorial Board and in letters by the laity. Consider these statements by Mr. Rutherford:

    "Jesus said that the age would end with a harvest, at which time he would be present, and that he would then send forth his messengers to gather together his elect (Matthew 13:24-30; 24:31). It is to be expected that the Lord would have some witness in the earth at the time of the harvest to make announcement of the fact of his presence and of the harvest. Here is some more circumstantial evidence which is proof conclusive, some more physical facts that speak louder than audible words, to wit: It was Brother Russell who announced the time of the harvest and the presence of the Master of the harvest. It was he who first went forth throughout the land crying out, "The harvest is here; go ye into the field and labor". And thousands of others taking up the slogan joined in the proclamation of the message.

    Jesus plainly said that during the time of his presence he would have a faithful and wise servant whom he would use to give meat to the household (of faith) in due season. Everyone today who has a knowledge of the divine plan of the ages must truthfully answer that he derived that knowledge from studying his Bible in connection with what Brother Russell wrote; that before such time he did not even know that God had a plan of salvation. Every person who today is rejoicing in the light of the truth of God's Word realizes that the Lord brought to him that truth, unfolding it through the ministrations and work begun by Brother Russell shortly following the presence of the Lord.

    Was he wise? As the world understands that word, particularly as defined by worldly clergymen, he was not. And thank God he was not. Had he possessed great worldly wisdom, such as that employed by his defamers, the Lord would never have used him" (1 March 1922 Watchtower, p. 73).

    "Ever and anon there arises some one who has been following the Lord, for a time at least, who possesses a measure of beauty of mind and character, and possibly of person -- one who takes himself too seriously. He succeeds in convincing himself that the Lord has appointed him to look after things divine and to lead God's people out of the wilderness. And he goes on in this way, he becomes convinced in his own mind that the Lord made a mistake in selecting Brother Russell as "that servant"; and this doubt leads to the conclusion later on that Brother Russell was not "that servant" at all. He begins to doubt what Brother Russell wrote, and so expresses himself....Thus disregarding this admonition, and being led on by the subtle influence of the adversary, he convinces himself that it is solemn duty to undo all the things that Brother Russell taught...

    Jesus clearly indicated that during his second presence he would have amongst the church a faithful and wise servant, through whom he would give to the household of faith meat in due season. The evidence is ovewhelming considering the Lord's second presence, the time of the harvest, and that the office of "that servant" has been filled by Brother Russell. This is not man-worship by any means. It matters not who Charles T. Russell was -- whether he was a doctor, a hod-carrier or a seller of shirts. St. Peter was a fisherman; St. Paul a lawyer. But these matters are immaterial. Above all these men were the chosen vessels of the Lord. Regardless of his earthly avocation, above all, Brother Russell was the Lord's servant. Then to repudiate him and his work is equivalent to a repudiation of the Lord" (1 May 1922 Watchtower, pp. 131-32).

    "But those who have seen, and taught present truth, most assuredly have believed that our late beloved leader, Brother Russell, held that position of steward. And this we most certainly hold, both as a fact and as a necessity of faith" (15 December 1922 Watchtower, p. 396).

    These are statements published in the Watchtower! Rutherford also tried to deny that he was guilty of "creature worship" and condemned those who would deny that Russell was "that servant" and try to set themselves up in pride of place, and to "undo all the things that Brother Russell taught" (these very things Rutherford would do in the years that followed). Now go back and read the comment in the 1975 Yearbook and see whether they place any blame on the Society for teaching this "incorrect" view....instead they blame the "many" and "some" in the movement, vague expressions that obscure the Watchtower's own role in promulgating this view.

  • Legolas
    What I was always told is that some overzealous Witnesses took certain things out of context and developed a very extreme reaction - ie selling their houses, quitting their jobs, dropping out of school, etc. - but the Society never deliberately or explicitly stated that 1975 was going to be it.

    I wasn't raised a dud but went in as an adult..and I was told the same thing as you...and I am sure that is what they are STILL telling people.

    LOL..I can't add anything...everyone posted them before me!

  • Justitia Themis
    Justitia Themis

    *** km 5/74 p. 3 How Are You Using Your Life? ***Yes, since the summer of 1973 there have been new peaks in pioneers every month. Now there are 20,394 regular and special pioneers in the United States, an all-time peak. That is 5,190 more than there were in February 1973! A 34-percent increase! Does that not warm our hearts? Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world’s end

    *** w04 7/1 pp. 26-27 A Satisfying Life Despite Heartaches ***


    to Nathan Knorr

    Since the 1920’s, Bethelites who desired to marry had been required to leave Bethel and serve Kingdom interests elsewhere. But in the early 1950’s, a few couples who had served at Bethel for some time were allowed to marry and stay. So when Nathan H. Knorr, who at the time was taking the lead in the worldwide Kingdom work, showed an interest in me, I thought, ‘Now, here is someone who will stay!’

    Nathan had many responsibilities in caring for the oversight of the worldwide activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So he was very honest with me, giving me many reasons why I should think carefully before I accepted his proposal of marriage. In those days, he traveled a lot to visit branches of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world and was often gone for weeks at a time. So he explained that we would be separated for long stretches of time.

    As a young girl, I dreamed of being married in springtime and having a honeymoon on the Pacific islands of Hawaii. Well, we were married in winter, on January 31, 1953, and we spent our honeymoon that Saturday afternoon and Sunday in New Jersey. On Monday we resumed work. A week later, however, we did get away for a week’s honeymoon.


    Hardworking Companion

    Nathan was 18 when he arrived at Bethel in 1923. He received valuable training from such old-timers as Joseph F. Rutherford, who took the lead in the work of the Witnesses, and printery manager Robert J. Martin. When Brother Martin died in September 1932, Nathan became printery manager. The following year, Brother Rutherford took Nathan with him when he visited branches of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Europe. In January 1942 when Brother Rutherford died, Nathan was given the responsibility of oversight of the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Nathan was very progressive, always planning ahead for future growth. Some considered this inappropriate, since the end of this system of things was considered to be very near. In fact, one who saw Nathan’s plans asked him: "What is this, Brother Knorr? Don’t you have any faith?" He replied: "Yes, I do, but if the end doesn’t come as soon as we expect, we will be ready."

  • Jankyn

    Anybody else remember a Watchtower study from sometime in 1976 that tried to soften the blow by talking about the time between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve? (Or something like that...my memory's rusty, and that was one of the last WT studies I ever prepped for, anyway).

    I remember a great deal of disappointment from the die-hard '75ers. Talk to any of the ones still alive now (including my mother and aunt, who were rabid about it) and they'll tell you it never happened.


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